Editorial: Party Like It Is 2008

Lost Odyssey Logo

Lost Odyssey Logo

Hello, LusiSlaves! Recently, I have found myself playing a few games from mid 2007 to early 2008. These games include, Lost Odyssey, Mass Effect, and Blue Dragon. How did I find myself playing these three RPGs, you ask? Well, for the two Mistwalker games, my roommate has an extended stay in Brazil so I am able to use his Xbox without him trying to use it at the same time and Mass Effect I picked it up on the cheap through the Summer Sale on Steam. So far, I have been enjoying each of the games equally. Since I do not know how much longer I will have the XBox 360, since my roommate wants it back sometime in early August of this year, I have put a major focus on the Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon.

Out of the two of them I have put more time into Lost Odyssey which I must say, is an amazing game for a fledgling development studio, like Mistwalker. Currently, I am playing through the fourth and final disc of the game. Overall the game has been an enjoyable experience, I can honestly say that this is one of the few games in recent years where I couldn’t see where the plot was going before many of the major plot twists happened. The writing is nothing but amazing. The thousand year dreams really make you feel for these characters that have lived through some really depressing events in their one thousand year life span. Seriously, these “dreams” can really make or break your day. These are probably the most depressing writings that have come out of a JRPG in the past decade. A more memorable one tells the story of a young girl who is a part of a small clan trying to find where the wind comes from. The story continues on with Kaim, Lost Odyssey‘s main character, meeting up with the girl and her grandson who are still on the quest for the source of the winds. Additionally I am really enjoying how the game does split cut scenes within cut scenes. At first, when I saw screen shots of it I thought it was just going to be some gimmick that would be that one annoying thing about the game. But after playing it I see that the choice to use them really adds to the cut scenes and how each character reacts to what is going on. Lost Odyssey closely resembles Final Fantasy IX which interestingly was the last Final Fantasy that all the “main Final Fantasy guys” worked on together.

Shu and his Shadow

Shu and his Shadow

While Lost Odyssey feels like a Final Fantasy, Mistwalker’s other 360 RPG, Blue Dragon, feels much closer to Dragon Ball. With the famous and notable style of Akira Toriyama players will instantly see that this game was truly meant for the Dragon Ball and Dragon Quest audience. Now, I have only played through the first hour or so of the game so I really do not feel comfortable saying anything that could sway a person to or not to play it. Just know that I am having a good time with it so far and that I think it is great to see a development studio be able to create games that are in two completely different styles in the same genre.

Finally, as I mentioned above, I have started playing the first Mass Effect. Having already played and somewhat enjoyed the second and third installments of the series I was a bit worried on how the story of the first one would play out having already seen the effects it had on the next two games. Boy was I wrong. Even though I knew some of the major plot points the first Mass Effect makes up for it in the Pre-EAWare style of writing and game play. In this game the dialogue choices aren’t color-coded nor can you really tell what outcome may come from what you say. For example, in the opening scene I said something about the commander of the Normandy, which I thought was just going to be a harmless joke, well let us just say that the officer did not take it that way. The game play for all three games still remains the same with the over the shoulder run, cover, and gun style that has been copied and reworked some many times that most of it feels like second nature at this point.

In conclusion, I feel that all of these games are still worth checking out. So now I pose the question to you, the readers. Have you ever found a game from the past that you skipped over and have come back to, to see that, that game was actually worth playing?

4 comments on “Editorial: Party Like It Is 2008”

  1. Lost Odyssey was primarily developed by a studio Microsoft formed specifically to help Mistwalker make games for the 360 so they wouldn’t feel like initial efforts from a fledging studio. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feelplus. Mistwalker mostly handled the design and concept while Feelplus did the dirty work, and Feelplus consisented of veteran programmers.

  2. While I did not skip them, there are games that I was not able to play due to living in the UK. I managed to play Chrono Trigger in 2006, 11 years after it was released.

    I’ve managed to skip all the XBox 360 exclusive RPGs, though I hope to be able to play them in the future when I can see a point to owning another Microsoft console.

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